With Top Gun: Maverick still storming the box office, that beach scene has cemented itself in cinematic history as a worthy successor to its predecessor’s infamous volleyball scene, with more abs and pecs on display than is easy to count.
The team at Ultimate Performance (UP), those responsible for the incredible transformation of ‘Hangman’ actor Glen Powell, recently shared the full workout split they used to get the A-lister both air and beach-ready and you can check out our interview with UP founder Nick Mitchell above.
But, if you’re looking to recreate some of that Hollywood magic in your own training, but have limited kit access, we’ve put together an adapted version of Powell’s chest and back routine that you can perform with only two dumbbells, whilst still getting a Top Gun pump.
Perform four sets of the A exercises, back to back, followed by four sets of B, and finally three sets of C. Keep rest to a bare minimum, aiming for a maximum of 60 seconds between most exercises, and zero rest between the final, max effort core movements.
A1. INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS x 8
Lay on a bench set at a 45 degree angle, holding two dumbbells above your head (A), slowly lower both bells over 4 seconds, keeping your elbows at a slight angle to your torso, until both dumbbells touch your chest (A) explosively press the bells back to full lockout and repeat.
A2. CHIN-UPS x 4
Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing your body, or facing each other if you have the correct handles available. Lift your feet off the floor and hang freely with straight arms (A). Pull yourself up by flexing your elbows, pinching your shoulders together. When your chin passes the bar, pause (B) before lowering slowly over 3 seconds to the starting position.
B1. DIPS x 8
Jump up on two parallel bars with your palms facing inward and your arms straight (A). Use two boxes or the backs of two sturdy chairs if you’re at home. Lean forward and slowly lower your body over 3 seconds until you feel a deep stretch in your chest.(B). Drive yourself back up to the top and repeat.
B2. BENT OVER ROW x 10
Hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor, your dumbbells hanging at your shins (A). Maintaining a flat back, explosively row both dumbbells towards your hips (B), squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower under control to the start before repeating. Control the bells and avoid moving your torso and using momentum to help.
C1. LAYING LEG RAISE x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Lay flat on your back, with your heels just off of the ground, your dumbbells behind your head- gripping them as an ‘anchor’ (A). Keeping your feet together, ‘curl’ at the stomach- lifting your legs towards the ceiling until your hips peel from the floor (B), pause here for a second before slowly lowering. Once you start, keep your feet off of the ground throughout, once they touch down- your set is over.
C2. PLANK SHOULDER TAPS x AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Assume a strong plank position, arms straight, hands stacked directly below your shoulders (A). Keeping your torso rigid and fighting rotation, reach one hand up and tap the opposite shoulder (B), place the hand back down and immediately repeat with the opposite arm. Continue until you can no longer hold a strong plank position.
C3. SINGLE DUMBBELL SHRUGS x 15
Grab one dumbbell and stand tall, bell hanging at your side (A), ‘shrug’ your shoulder upwards, keeping your arm straight, focussing on getting your shoulder as close to your ear as possible (B), squeeze here before slowly lowering and repeating. Complete 15 reps on each side.
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